Playing an Instrument Is a Great Workout For Your Brain: New Animation Explains Why

≡ Category: Animation, Biology, Music, Science |4 Comments

Get me a piano teacher, stat!
When I was a child, my father, enchanted by the notion that I might someday provide live piano accompaniment to his evening cocktails, signed me up for lessons with a mild-mannered widow who—if memory serves—charged 50¢ an hour.


Why Tattoos Are Permanent? New TED Ed Video Explains with Animation

≡ Category: Art, Life, Science |Leave a Comment

For the last three decades my right ankle has been the site of a deeply botched tattoo. It was supposed to be a yin yang, but with every passing year, it looks more and more like a cancerous mole. The drunken Vietnam Vet who administered it barely glanced at the design taking shape on my once virgin skin as he chatted with a pal.


What Does the Spleen Do? A Music Video Starring Harvard School of Medicine’s Class of 2016

≡ Category: Biology, Comedy, Harvard, K-12, Science |Leave a Comment

According to Harvard Medical School’s Admissions department, “to study medicine at Harvard is to prepare to play a leading role” in the “quest to improve the human condition.


In 1964, Arthur C. Clarke Predicts the Internet, 3D Printers and Trained Monkey Servants

≡ Category: Literature, Science |2 Comments

“If by some miracle some prophet could describe the future exactly as it was going to take place, his predictions would sound so absurd, so far-fetched that everyone would laugh him to scorn.”
That was Sir Arthur C.


The Animals of Chernobyl

≡ Category: Biology, Science |Leave a Comment

On April 26, 1986, the number 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant blew up in what is now Ukraine. The site spewed a cloud of radioactive material that spread over much of Europe. The area immediately around Chernobyl received more than 400 times the radiation as Hiroshima and won’t be safely inhabitable for about 20,000 years.


Carl Sagan Writes a Letter to 17-Year-Old Neil deGrasse Tyson (1975)

≡ Category: Science, Television |8 Comments

Carl Sagan, the turtleneck-sporting astrophysicist from Cornell, was the greatest communicator of science of his generation.


I F***ing Love Science: The New, Uncensored Song by Hank Green

≡ Category: Science |Leave a Comment

If you’re a regular OC reader, you’re familiar with John Green, the bestselling author who has produced a series of educational videos — most notably, A Crash Course in World History, A Crash Course on Literature, and the new PBS video series, The Art Assignment.


Watch 1955 Footage of a Scientist Interviewing a Painter on LSD

≡ Category: Science |2 Comments

A few months ago, we featured the increasingly abstract portraits drawn by an artist after periodic doses of LSD. It happened in the late 1950s, a time when you might well imagine such an activity going down in, say, a bohemian quarter of New York, but also a time when hallucinogenic drugs rode a wave of popularity among legitimate scientists.


The Science of Caffeine: The World’s Most Popular Drug

≡ Category: Food & Drink, Science |Leave a Comment

Here’s a quick shot of science to start your day. The American Chemical Society, an organization representing chemists across the US, has released the latest in a series of Reactions videos. Attempting to explain the science of everyday things, previous Reactions videos have demystified the chemistry of Sriracha, Love, Pepper and more.


Science & Cooking: Harvard’s Free Course on Making Cakes, Paella & Other Delicious Food

≡ Category: Food & Drink, Harvard, Science |Leave a Comment

I can hardly think of a more appealing nexus of the sciences, for most of us and for obvious (and delicious) reasons, than food. Add a kind of engineering to the mix, and you get the study of cooking.


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